Source: Stephen Buranyi, "Do we need a new theory of evolution?" The Guardian, 28 June 2022.
"... scientists still do not know the answers to some of the most basic questions about how life on Earth evolved."
"Take eyes, for instance. Where do they come from, exactly? The usual explanation of how we got these stupendously complex organs rests upon the theory of natural selection. ... This is the basic story of evolution, as recounted in countless textbooks and pop-science bestsellers. The problem, according to a growing number of scientists, is that it is absurdly crude and misleading. For one thing, it starts midway through the story, taking for granted the existence of light-sensitive cells, lenses and irises, without explaining where they came from in the first place. Nor does it adequately explain how such delicate and easily disrupted components meshed together to form a single organ."
“The first eye, the first wing, the first placenta. How they emerge. Explaining these is the foundational motivation of evolutionary biology,” says Armin Moczek, a biologist at Indiana University. “And yet, we still do not have a good answer. This classic idea of gradual change, one happy accident at a time, has so far fallen flat.”
"Everyone agrees that natural selection plays a role, as does mutation and random chance. But how exactly these processes interact – and whether other forces might also be at work – has become the subject of bitter dispute."
"Scientists working in the new field of genetics discovered rules that governed the quirks of heredity. But rather than confirm Darwin’s theory, they complicated it. Reproduction appeared to remix genes – the mysterious units that programme the physical traits we end up seeing – in surprising ways. Think of the way a grandfather’s red hair, absent in his son, might reappear in his granddaughter. How was natural selection meant to function when its tiny variations might not even reliably pass from parent to offspring every time?"
"One of the most fascinating recent areas of research is known as plasticity, which has shown that some organisms have the potential to adapt more rapidly and more radically than was once thought. ... The crucial thing about such observations, which challenge the traditional understanding of evolution, is that these sudden developments all come from the same underlying genes. The species’s genes aren’t being slowly honed, generation by generation. Rather, during its early development it has the potential to grow in a variety of ways, allowing it to survive in different situations."
We don't need a new theory. We need to return to the original truth: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1).